In 1495 the Roman Catholic Church allowed those who pay a fee to consume butter during fast days. It is believed that monies collected from this “butter tax” paid for the construction of a part of the Cathedral of Rouen that came to be known as the “Butter Tower.”
Near-Naked Actor Dominated Hong Kong Landscape. Actor Djimon Hounsou graced the entire island of Hong Kong – until April 15th - in a huge display on the façades of the former Ritz Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong. Located in the city’s business, financial, and shopping hub in Central Hong Kong, the former Ritz had been wrapped with black and white images of Hounsou. The images stretched over 100,000 square feet across its 27-story façade. This is the largest outdoor execution for any Calvin Klein advertising campaign anywhere in the world and overlooked Victoria Harbour and the south side facing the Peak. The photos we took were taken across the Harbour on Kowloon Island.
The X Conference Aftermath. Steve Bassett, Paradigm Research Group’s (PRG) founder, organized a sensational X Conference, the 4th, held at the Hilton Hotel in Gaithersburg, MD. Factoring in “The Noory Effect” - Coast to Coast AM late night host George Noory (in black leather, photo by Chuck Walker, below) was a special guest and is a supporter - Bassett put together a standing room only 3-day conference. Noory was also a big crowd pleaser. The main thrust of PRG is to work for the release of all information on UFOs and the government’s disclosure of all information regarding The Alien Presence here on earth. The Conference was dedicated to the memory of Dr. John E. Mack (pictured). With the success of the 4th, the 5th X Conference will also be held at the Hilton Hotel in 2009. Reservations can be made now. www.x-conference.com.
Bassett’s commitment and dedication in the field of “Exopolitics” has meant he has been able to bring speakers to the X Conferences that are rarely on the conference circuit. Special banquet speaker was Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr., accompanied by his wife Linda. (Photo of Steve at the podium by Chuck Walker.)
One person who hasn’t been “written in” to the continuing alien presence here on earth is famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking believes we are not alone in the universe. If there is life elsewhere in the universe, Hawking, featured speaker at a lecture that was part of a series honoring NASA's 50th anniversary, asked why haven't we stumbled onto some alien broadcasts in space?
Hawking opined: "Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare," he then quickly added: "Some would say it has yet to occur on earth."
No one has told Hawking that the skies are crowded with UFOs and people are still being abducted by aliens-with-bad-intentions.
Contrary to what I heard at The X Conference, Hawking believes alien abduction claims come from "weirdos" and are unlikely. However, because alien life might not have DNA like us, Hawking warned: "Watch out if you would meet an alien. You could be infected with a disease with which you have no resistance."
The Phoenix Lights. The X Conference had a screening of Dr. Lynne Kitei’s DVD on The Phoenix Lights. Dr. Lynne, spokesperson, author, and maven of The Phoenix Lights, will be seen on NBC’s Dateline show May 4th that will showcase the en best UFO cases ever. (There is also a Stephenville Lights maven. Be forewarned, I am pre-claiming the rights to the title “Queen Bee of The Las Vegas Lights.”)
During the evening of March 13, 1997, thousands of Arizona residents witnessed a silent mile-wide, v-shaped formation of lights that seemed to be attached to something, slowly gliding overhead. Dr. Lynne began documenting the experience of thousands of people statewide who had, along with her, witnessed the event.
On April 22, 2008 - coincidence or orchestrated by Dr. Lynne, who’s to say? - red lights appeared once again in the north Phoenix sky, reminiscent of a similar event 11 years ago (and the perfect PR for the Dateline show).
On March 13, 1997, thousands of people reported seeing a v-shaped formation of lights over north Phoenix. They lasted about three hours. Among those who saw the lights in 1997 was former Gov. Fife Symington, who initially played down the episode. However, he said last year that he believes the lights came from ``crafts of unknown origin" and, ``It remains a great mystery."
Or, was the April 22, 2008 Phoenix Lights a prank?
Hay House “I Can Do It!” Returns to Las Vegas June 26 – June 29. The Pre-Conference Keynote Speaker is Lisa Williams (pictured) with “Messages from the Other Side: Connect with Spirit and Communicate with your Loved Ones.” I attended last year’s Conference and it was a fantastic experience. Reserve early, since there were 3,000 people attending last year. I also brought a lot of stuff at the exhibit hall, made a wonderful contact with a local Buddhist group, brought books and clothes, and enjoyed the speakers. I also met many wonderful people. http://www.hayhouse.com.
Passes start at: $50 Thursday evening, $75: Friday evening, $190: full-day Saturday or Sunday and $350: full-conference. For my columns on last year’s Conference, please see TDH for June 4 (The Devil's Hammer - 6.4.07), May 28 (The Devil's Hammer - 5.28.07), May 21 (The Devil's Hammer - 5.21.07) and May 14 (The Devil's Hammer - 5.14.07)
The ASPM “Super” Gene. Are you on the super gene fast-track? What variation do you have? ASPM is a human gene whose defective form is associated with a serious birth defect called Microcephaly. However, a new superior version of ASPM appeared about 5,800 years ago and has spread to half the world's population, especially Europe and West Asia.
According to recent research regarding human evolution and cultural development, the most recent ASPM gene variation arose about 5,800 years ago, roughly correlating with the development of written language, spread of agriculture and development of cities. Currently, two variations of this gene exist: the older variation (pre-5,800 years ago) and the newer variation (post-5,800 years ago). About 10% of humans have two copies of the "new" ASPM gene, while about 50% have two copies of the "old" version. The other 40% of humans have one copy of each. Of those with an instance of the new gene, 50% of them are a completely identical copy of the gene suggesting a highly rapid spread from the original mutation.
Over the last 18 million years, there has been a progressive change in ASPM - 15 changes to be exact - which has been correlated to a steady increase in the size of the cerebral cortex through the evolution of the great apes, a group of organisms that includes orangutans, gorillas, chimps, and humans. Conversely, there seems to have been no selective pressure on the same gene in monkeys, dogs, cats, and cows.
According to evolutionary theory, the rapid spread of a mutation (such as the new ASPM) through the population indicates that the mutation is somehow advantageous to the individual. As of today, there is no evidence to support the notion that the new ASPM gene increases intelligence. However, statistical analysis has shown that the older forms of the gene are found more heavily in populations that speak tonal languages like Chinese.
Instead of the ASPM gene, the Chinese appear to have developed a gene which also increases the density of neural matter.
Zombie Strippers. Pass up the new movies currently out this week and see “Zombie Strippers” instead. The press screening of “Zombie Strippers” I attended had two other women present and many more men. All the male critics gave the studio rep savage comments. One man, who runs an influential opening day polling service, said to me: “That was the worst movie ever made in the history of moviemaking.” He went on about how terrible it was.
So as porn queen Jenna Jameson (pictured) stripped and poll danced, all the men squirmed and yawned. Ho-hum. Obviously, they’ve seen better poll dancing in their own bedrooms. Where was the philosophical dialogue they wanted? Was the transformation into zombie strippers a realistic motivation for the characters? Where was Jameson’s Golden Globe-winning emotional scene? Nobody cried or gave a speech about saving the planet.
“Zombie Strippers” delivers and it is not slapstick funny, but it’s clever. Everyone, even the outraged guys in the audience, laughed at the dialogue. I laughed the loudest.
“Zombie Strippers” does let you know that strippers think of themselves as front line warriors. And the star field commander, who has had more tours of duty than anyone, is Kat (Jenna Jameson).
In the near future, George W. is still president by popular demand and wars are raging all over the world. Soldiers are in such short supply that the U.S. Army has a great idea. Why not reanimate the dead to continue fighting? The Zombie Virus is created but a soldier guarding one of the test subjects gets bitten and flees to the basement of a strip club, Rhinos.
The tough “Z-Squad” is called in. They have credentials – they fought off Armageddon. One of the soldiers killed Satan.
owner, armed with a spray can antiseptic, is afraid of the girls getting too
close to him. (In strip clubs, handiwipes are currency.) Kat, the club’s Number
One Star, gets bitten first and still goes on stage. She’s a trouper. She
becomes a sensation. The other girls get really, really jealous. Camaraderie
among women – even Hef’s
nurses girlfriends - is a fantasy.
Ian is no fool. The patrons love Kat’s new act. The money is pouring in. Why ruin a good thing? The other strippers, jealous of Kat’s new zombie dancing skills, want to be zombies too. Hell, they have already been cosmetically altered into robotic sex toys with fake boobs, teeth, lips, and cheekbones. They have $2,000 hair extensions and hairless bodies. They are all, as Tom Wolfe once wrote, “starved to perfection.”
Zombies make good dancers. Getting eaten by a zombie stripper? That’s called “holding the short straw.”
Writer-director Jay Lee, who has multiple other credits listed (was that him credited as cast “fluffer”?), has reinvigorated the zombie genre and showed those us of who have never rented a porn movie or gotten a lap dance, what has taken hold of America. “Zombie Strippers” is social commentary with a naked twist.
Eddie Izzard Comes to Las Vegas. British comedy genius Eddie Izzard brings his world-view humor to The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort on Saturday, July 26, 2008, at 9:00 p.m. Izzard currently tours the world and has the lead role in FX’s The Riches, which premiered its new season on Tuesday, March 18.
Times Online reporter Caitlin Moran interviewed British comedian Eddie Izzard. In The Riches, Izzard plays a traveler/conman in the American South. For TDH readers who think they would like to be TV actors, Izzard explains the craft of television acting.
“Each episode, I get better. I learn,” Izzard says. “Like, you've got to keep [your actions] small, just in the eyes on the close-ups. But then you have to go big for a wide shot. Don't get the two confused, or you'll end up watching back the wide shot and going: ‘Why am I not doing anything here, except subtly blinking?'”
Tickets for Eddie Izzard’s Stripped are $55, $65 and $75, plus any additional box office or service fees, and go on sale Sunday, March 16, at 10:00 a.m. Call 702-474-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.